Maybe I do like my Windows Mobile 5 Phone...

Posted by Dan on Apr 20, 2007 @ 6:01 PM

I have to admit, a few times over the past two months or so, I've been tempted to throw my Windows Mobile phone out the car window. It was locking up on my with increasing frequency. I was to the point where I had to soft reset at least once a day, and I was lucky to make it through the day w/out it locking up on me. The worst part about it locking up, is you have no idea the phone is dead until you go to use it. I was also lucky to get through the day without the battery draining on me. It really was all very frustrating.

I finally decided I'd try to do a hard reset on my phone to see if that would improve things. I figured if it still acted the same way, it had to be a hardware problem. I knew I had installed and removed a lot of software after getting my phone—while in the pursuit of getting the phone to work the way I needed it to. Having read various Windows Mobile forums, I also learned that I had done several things that could cause lockups. So I was really hoping the hard reset would fix things.

So, almost 2 weeks ago, I spent the day doing a hard reset and then getting my phone back to working order. I am happy to say that my phone is working better than ever.

I've gone from often not being able to make it through the day w/out needing to recharge my battery, to still having 80% battery power left at the end of the day. I've even been able to make it multiple days without a re-charge!

My phone is running much faster as well. The phone had become really sluggish the last few months, but the phone now seems zipper than when I first got it. I also haven't had it lock up on me once in the 2 weeks--which is a record. I've done one soft reset, but I probably didn't even need to do it. I was just in such a habit of having to do a soft reset once a day, I woke up and did it out of habit one morning.

So I wanted to share some tips that I've learned from using Windows Mobile v5 for the past 6 months. These tips are pretty common knowledge, but some of the I was unaware of when I got my phone—which is probably what lead me to problems:

  • Do not install programs on your memory card. Install applications only on the internal memory. This is especially true of any application that's used on the Today screen.
  • Once you figure out which applications you need loaded to get the functionality you want from the phone, consider doing a hard reset and then rebuilding the phone using only those applications. This will give you a clean, lean copy of WM5.
  • PocketMax PhoneAlarm is one program well worth the money. In my opinion, most of the functionality this application gives you should have been included in Windows Mobile v5. The phone is almost unusable for me without this application. It gives me repeating alarms, quick access to SMS, E-mail, Voice Mail and turning the phone into flight mode. You can also set up multiple profiles (such as Home, Work, Meeting, etc) that each have their own schedules. This allows me to configure the phone to not ring between midnight and 6am when I'm home.
  • Your phone shouldn't be locking up. If it is, don't be afraid to do a hard reset. Just make sure to backup the important information. Most WM5 applications I've seen have some mechanism for exporting/importing settings.
  • Mail2Web is wonderful free service for WM5 users. It provides you with a free ActiveSync e-mail account. If nothing else, this is great for automatic backup of Contacts and Calendar events. I also find it a lot easier to manage contacts using the web-based Contacts interface—rather than try to enter the information via my phone's keyboard.
  • Astraware's Sudoko is a great time killer and I find it's also a good way to take a break when I'm having trouble solving a problem.
  • Jimm98y's Vista Dialer is a great replacement for the default WM5 dialer. It's a huge improvement over the default dialer. The one catch is it's a black dialer and has a Vista feel.
  • If you're looking for a great black theme or are just a Steelers fan, I create a WM5 Steelers theme. Just copy the file into your WM5 Windows folder, select it as your new theme, wait 30 seconds and then do a soft reset.
  • If you're looking for a way to add "Delete All" and "Mark All Read" functions to Pocket Outlook, here's something I found in a WM5 forum: markallasread.CAB. I did not write this and offer no warranty, but I've been using it for several months and haven't noticed anything malicious.
  • To fix button 5 in Microsoft's Voice Commander, the following fix works great:

    Use a registry editor to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\OEM\VoiceCommand and create a new string value called "Path" (no quotes). For the data, leave it blank (or insert a valid path to an .exe file on your system if you want that .exe to run when you press the BT headset button). Then close your registry app, power off your device and then soft reset with the stylus (or whatever method you use to soft reset). The soft reset is crucial. After it comes back up, try to assign your button 5 to something (I suggest voice command!) and see if it works. You should also be able to assign button 5 (press and hold) to something else and it will work too. You will know if you made an error in the path if button 5 still brings up notes despite being set to another program in button settings.

This is just a complilation of things that made WM5 much more usable for me. Hopefully I won't have any more problems with my phone now that I've stablized the software and understand the ins and outs of Windows Mobile 5 a little better.

Categories: Personal, Technology

6 Comments

  • alarms for tasks and calendar.
    do you know of a fix for the alarms and calendar alarm syncing correctly? My calendar and tasks update, but the alarms on the today screen don't, I am ready to throw my out as well?

    Thank you for responding, if you have the time
  • This might be related to the TimeZone changes. Microsoft released a Windows Mobile patch to fix for the new timezone changes. Check out Microsoft's site for more info. You'll need to make sure both your PC and Phone are both patched w/the correct patches for your OS.
  • Have you found a way to delete all contacts at once in WM5? I've deleted all contacts in my Outlook 2007 folders, then synced my MDA, with the "replace on device" setting, but all my contacts are still there (670 of them).
  • i think my pocket pc wm5 was eat up by virus because all my today program can not open again. please can you assist me on how to reset my device back to default because i have try all the means to reset it, but i can't work because i can not open the start manu.
  • i think my pocket pc wm5 was eat up by virus because all my today program can not open again. please can you assist me on how to reset my device back to default because i have try all the means to reset it, but i can't work because i can not open the start manu.
  • To Aluko:
    There is no such thing as a Windows Mobile virus. Unless, of course, you copied this one super-rare .exe (possibly from a warez site) to either the Windows folder or another system folder and ran it, then answered yes to the dialog that says "Master, may I spread?" which then appends itself to all writable .exe files in the directory it's in.

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